Valentine’s Day Wine: Love for love’s sake
By Kay Pfaltz
A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. —Thomas Carlyle
While a loving heart may nudge us, strangely, toward knowledge (although I would say it’s more closely allied with wisdom, which comes from heart not brain) it is also often not only the beginning of learning, but of joy and…inevitably sorrow. Yet if loving opens us up to sadness, not loving costs us more and cuts us off from life itself. Like the river stones I behold beneath the moving water, we’re shaped—sometimes pounded, sometimes polished—by every drop of love, worn thin in some places but ultimately molded to unique expressions of our hearts’ interior song. Romantic love may feel wonderful, making 70 and 20-year olds equally giddy, but our enchantment needn’t stop at the end of another’s arms, for we find some of our most enduring joy in work we love. Then there is love of art, love of spirit, and love of wine and food.
But alas, we are lowly humans still titillated by human connections and ever lured by immediate gratification, so this Valentine’s Day in celebration of both romantic love and the passion for good food and wine, I offer these delights, apropos of love through all seasons of life.
, Casauria, 2007 – A mountainous and wild region in central Italy, Abruzzo stretches from the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea. Montepuliciano d’Abruzzo (not to be confused with Vino Nobile de Montepuliciano in Tuscany) is often a rustic, somewhat hearty wine best consumed young. The Castorani, Amorino, Casauria, 2007, however, has the age to temper it. It’s earthy and rich with notes of black cherries, licorice and chocolate. But don’t pair it with chocolate, unless very dark, for the sweetness in the chocolate will make the wine seem bitter. Pairing wine with any sweet dish or sauce, for that matter, can cause the wine to appear to taste bitter. Medium tannins make it best matched with cheeses, meats and pastas. And the name, Amorino? The Amorino was a special jewel created by Armando Di Rienzo to offer his beloved when he proposed; it symbolized the promise of eternal love. $24
Heritage, Vin Doux, 2007 – From the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, the same region that produces Château Musar and has some of the most perfect conditions for making great wine, comes this vin doux or ‘sweet wine’ with which to tempt your sweetheart. A beautiful amber rosé made from a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and a touch of Tempranillo, with a nose of sweetly inviting burnt caramel and toffee. $12 Now, here is the wine to pair with chocolate. Try our very own Gearhart’s Chocolates which I think are equal to Christian Constant, Dalloyau and the very best that Brussels or Paris has to offer.
Schlumberger, Rosé, Secco – A uniquely luxurious rosé from Austria’s oldest sparkling wine house and supplier to the Austrian royal family. With a nose of raspberries and roses, and a frosted pink bottle, it’s the perfect Valentine’s gift for the bubbly lover. $24
See France off the beaten tourist track.
Find out why September is the greatest month to be in Paris.
The Secrets of Paris, September 2014. [email protected]
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